2022 Expeditions

{"width":"100%","height":"40em","storymap":{"language":"EN","map_type":"osm:standard","slides":[{"type":"overview","text":{"headline":"2022 Expeditions","text":"Check out the 2022 PolarTREC Expeditions using the interactive map!"},"location":{"line":"true"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Lau_P6080085_800px.jpg","caption":"Dr. Bret-Harte and Emily Reast set up a quandrant that will be harvested.","credit":"Photo by Jeremy May, Courtesy of Melissa Lau (PolarTREC 2018), Courtesy of ARCUS"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-03-27T12:00:00Z\">27 March 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2022-04-08T12:00:00Z\">8 April 2022<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/international-arctic-buoy-program\" hreflang=\"en\">International Arctic Buoy Program<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">27 March 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">8 April 2022<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> Utqia\u0121vik, Alaska &amp; Thule, Greenland <br \/>\n\nLand-fast sea ice is fastened along the shoreline in Utqia\u0121vik, Alaska. Photo by John Wood.\n\nThe participants of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP) work together to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme. Data from the IABP have many uses. For example: 1. Research in Arctic climate and climate change, 2. Forecasting weather and ice conditions, 3. Validation of satellites, 4. Forcing, validation and assimilation into numerical climate models, and 5. Tracking the source and fate of samples taken from the ice. Over 1000 publications have benefited from observations from the IABP.\n\nSarah and the team will be headed out for a second deployment to Thule, Greenland in June-July 2022."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"71.29056","lon":"-156.78861"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Lau_P6080085_800px.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-04-24T12:00:00Z\">24 April 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2022-05-14T12:00:00Z\">14 May 2022<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/greenland-subglacial-tremor-project\" hreflang=\"en\">Greenland Subglacial Tremor Project<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">24 April 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">14 May 2022<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> Ilulissat, Greenland and West Greenland Ice Sheet <br \/>\n\nThe Greenland Ice Sheet near Kangerslussuaq, Greenland. Photo by Tina Ciarametaro.\n\nEstimates of the Greenland ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise over the next century range from a few centimeters to over one meter. Differences of a few millimeters per year may be significant in lowlying, populous coastal areas where planning with such a large range of uncertainty has high economic and social costs for governments, communities, and businesses. This study will improve our understanding of how increases in surface runoff will influence ice flow and subsequent loss of water mass from the Greenland ice sheet to the oceans."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"69.2198","lon":"-51.0986"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Ciarametaro_IMG_2592_800px.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-07-17T12:00:00Z\">17 July 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2022-08-18T12:00:00Z\">18 August 2022<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/harmful-algal-blooms-in-arctic-waters\" hreflang=\"en\">Harmful Algal Blooms in Arctic Waters<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">17 July 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">18 August 2022<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> Ship-based in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas <br \/>\n\nIce algae in the northern Chukchi Sea. Photo by Sandra Thornton.\n\nAs ocean temperatures warm, in particular the shallow Chukchi Sea, many organisms may spread into Arctic waters. Some of these present significant threats to human and ecosystem health, such as harmful algal bloom (HAB) species (commonly called red tides). The potent neurotoxins that these species produce can affect marine mammals, seabirds, and other resources critical to subsistence harvesters.\n\nAt the same time, little is known about the present and future risk from toxic algae to humans in the Pacific Arctic region. This study will be the first to document the current distribution of highly toxic HAB species over large spatial scales within the Alaskan Arctic and will provide estimates of areas at high risk of toxicity now and in a warming future. The hypothesis underlying this project is that HABs in Alaskan Arctic waters are not only transported from the south through Bering Strait but are now originating locally on the Chukchi shelf due to warming temperatures, circulation dynamics, and water mass structure. These factors influence bloom magnitude, duration, toxicity, and recurrence. This will be addressed through a joint physical-biological field and laboratory program to study the relationship between HAB species distribution\/dynamics and the physical environment of the Chukchi Sea region.\n\nThe distribution of HAB species on the Chukchi shelf will be mapped in relation to hydrography and circulation, including a comprehensive survey of the Alaskan Coastal Current which transports the warmest water in the Chukchi Sea. A range of molecular and physiological tools will be used to investigate the origin, connectivity, and fate of HAB populations in the region. Sediment profiling will establish a historical record of blooms along the major transport pathways to the western Arctic. This information will be used to generate conceptual models of the origin, transport, and fate of HABs in the Chukchi Sea region."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"56.9073","lon":"-178.1395"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Bartlett_Brown_EvieWorking_800px.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-07-10T12:00:00Z\">10 July 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2022-08-05T12:00:00Z\">5 August 2022<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/effects-of-lemmings-on-the-arctic-tundra-ecosystem\" hreflang=\"en\">Effects of Lemmings on the Arctic Tundra Ecosystem<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">10 July 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">5 August 2022<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> Utqia\u0121vik, Alaska <br \/>\n\nLemming in Utqia\u0121vik, Alaska\n\nThe team plans to use observations and experiments and models to understand how the fluctuations in the numbers of small mammal herbivores on the tundra, both within and between years, affect tundra ecosystem function (such as the abundance of different types of plants, the quality of plant litter and nutrient cycling) and energy balance. They will determine natural changes in small mammal population sizes in three different Alaskan tundra ecosystems (at Utqia\u0121vik, Nome and Toolik Lake), and also use experiments in each ecosystem where they control the number of small mammals that have access to small areas of the tundra, to determine how this affects the way the ecosystem works."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"71.2906","lon":"-156.7886"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/polly_z_008_800px.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-07-05T12:00:00Z\">5 July 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2022-07-31T12:00:00Z\">31 July 2022<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/investigating-ecosystem-carbon-response-in-boreal-forests\" hreflang=\"en\">Investigating Ecosystem Carbon Response in Boreal Forests<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">5 July 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">31 July 2022<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> Caribou-Poker Creek, Alaska <br \/>\n\nMeasuring the CO2 flux between the soil and atmosphere\n\nThis study focuses on a leaf-to-watershed analysis at the Caribou-Poker Creek (BONA) Watershed in Alaska. The team will work closely with NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network). Specifically, they are looking to answer \u201cWhat are the environmental and biological controls of photosynthetic phenology in permafrost-affected boreal forests?\u201d. They will use an approach that incorporates high-frequency observations of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) as an indicator of vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP), and L-band microwave backscattering intensity as an indicator of canopy water content. These measurements will be complemented by a suite of observations including leaf and ecosystem gas exchange, and environmental measurements (e.g., soil temperature, soil moisture, water flow velocity) along a soil-to-vegetation continuum."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"65.18077914","lon":"147.4897317"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/expeditions\/img\/youngimg56130.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-12-15T12:00:00Z\">15 December 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2023-01-15T12:00:00Z\">15 January 2023<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/icecube-and-the-askaryan-radio-array-2022\" hreflang=\"en\">IceCube and The Askaryan Radio Array 2022<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">15 December 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">15 January 2023<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> South Pole Station, Antarctica <br \/>\n\nA Digital Optical Module (DOM) hanging in the IceCube Lab at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. Photo by Kate Miller.\n\nIceCube is located at the South Pole and records the interactions of a nearly massless sub-atomic messenger particle called the neutrino. IceCube searches for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars.\n\nThe IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. In addition, IceCube studies the neutrinos themselves using the 100,000 neutrinos detected per year produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. Their energies far exceed those from accelerator beams. IceCube encompasses a cubic kilometer of instrumented ice, and is the largest detector by volume ever built.\n\nThe fully built ARA project, also located at the South Pole, will have an effective volume 100 times bigger than IceCube. The trade off is that it is only capable of observing radio waves from extremely high energy neutrinos, a million times more energetic than the neutrinos produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. This neutrinos are extremely rare, which is why such a large detector is needed to increase the chance of seeing one."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"-90","lon":"-139.2667"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Miller_IceCubeLab_800px.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-12-26T12:00:00Z\">26 December 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2023-02-15T12:00:00Z\">15 February 2023<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/dry-valleys-ecosystem-study-2022\" hreflang=\"en\">Dry Valleys Ecosystem Study 2022<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">26 December 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">15 February 2023<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> McMurdo Station and Dry Valleys, Antarctica <br \/>\n\nDr. Thomas Powers and Natasha Griffin collect soil samples at the F6 site in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Photo by Kevin Dickerson.\n\nThe McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) Program is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in an ice-free region of Antarctica. MCM joined the National Science Foundation's LTER Network in 1993 and is funded through the Office of Polar Programs in six year funding periods.\n\nThe McMurdo Dry Valleys (77\u00b030'S 163\u00b000'E) on the shore of McMurdo Sound, 2,200 miles (3,500 km) due south of New Zealand, form the largest relatively ice-free area (approximately 4,800 sq km) on the Antarctic continent. These ice-free areas of Antarctica display a sharp contrast to most other ecosystems in the world, which exist under far more moderate environmental conditions. The perennially ice-covered lakes, ephemeral streams and extensive areas of exposed soil within the McMurdo Dry Valleys are subject to low temperatures, limited precipitation and salt accumulation. The dry valleys represent a region where life approaches its environmental limits, and is an end-member in the spectrum of environments included in the LTER Network.\n\nThe overarching goal of MCM LTER research is to document and understand how ecosystems respond to environmental changes."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"-77.5","lon":"163"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Dickerson_P1200001%20_800px.jpg"}},{"date":"<time datetime=\"2022-10-29T12:00:00Z\">29 October 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"2022-12-10T12:00:00Z\">10 December 2022<\/time>\n","text":{"headline":"<a href=\"\/expeditions\/antarctic-automatic-weather-stations-2021\" hreflang=\"en\">Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations 2021<\/a>","text":"<strong>Dates:<\/strong> <time datetime=\"00Z\">29 October 2022<\/time>\n - <time datetime=\"00Z\">10 December 2022<\/time>\n <br \/>\n<strong>Location:<\/strong> McMurdo Station, Antarctica <br \/>\n\nThe team raises meteorological instrument equipment onto the Sabrina Automatic Weather Station (AWS), Antarctica. Photo by David Mikolajczyk, Courtesy of Michael Penn.\n\nThe Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network has been making meteorological observations since the early 1980s. This continent-wide network is positioned to observe significant meteorological events and increase our understanding of the climate of the Antarctic surface. Researchers utilize the AWS network to observe and learn about the Antarctic in a warming world. Given the duration of the AWS program and maintaining AWS sites for many years, numerous studies have been conducted on the surface climatology of regions of the continent, such as the Ross Ice Shelf. This climatology also aids in other studies, like winter warming events.\n\nThe Antarctic Automatic Weather Station network provides a greater understanding of the surface meteorology and climatology throughout the continent of Antarctica. The AWS network spans the Ross Ice Shelf, Ross Island, West Antarctica, East Antarctica, and the South Pole. Since some of the AWS have been working for over 30 years, we can begin to understand the climate over many regions of Antarctica."},"location":{"line":"true","lat":"-77.8419","lon":"166.6863"},"media":{"url":"\/files\/2020-01\/Penn_IMG_1314_800px.jpg"}}]}}

New Curriculum Unit Available!

Sea ice, seen from the deck, aboard the Akademik Tryoshnikov in the Laptev Sea. Photo by Jon Pazol (PolarTREC 2021), Courtesy of ARCUS

ARCUS is pleased to share a new resource, a curriculum unit focused on the Arctic Ocean. This curriculum unit, funded by the North Pacific Research Board, updates lessons originally created by PolarTREC alumni teachers to create a unit that uses recent data, aligns with NGSS, polar, and ocean literacy principles, and encourages cultural relevancy. The entire unit can be downloaded through the resources section of the PolarTREC website.

Latest Journals

31 May 2022 Wait, There's Paperwork?!

By: Jennifer Johnson
A view of the tundra and the Brooks Range
Bring yourself back to your ten-year-old mind. Little you. Look at little you and say this: “Imagine, in your mind’s eye, what a scientist looks like.” Little you will think about this, and likely picture a person in a white lab coat with goggles on. Maybe they’re wearing gloves and holding a…

24 May 2022 Smell Of The Lilacs

By: Erin Towns
The first thing I noticed was the smell of the lilacs as I stepped out onto the hot pavement in downtown Augusta Maine. As I walked into the building and on the way up the stairs, smells of home hit me, laundry detergent, a light wisp of perfume that I do not often wear, and the smell of the…

12 May 2022 Circles of Greenland

By: Erin Towns
You know you have been invited to dinner with field scientists when you see this on the porch. It is our last day today. The day is filled with packing and relaxing a bit before the three day journey back to Maine including overnight stops at Kangerlussuaq International Science Support and…

7 May 2022 The Western Greenland Ice Sheet

By: Erin Towns
Abstract photo of the surface of the Western Greenland Ice Sheet which shows cryoconite holes. Cryoconite is granular sediment found on glacier surfaces comprising both mineral and biological material. In Greenland there are no railroads or inland waterways and very few roads. There are 90…

4 May 2022 Kalaallit Qimmiat - The Greenlandic Sled Dog

By: Erin Towns
Greenlandic Sled dogs relaxing at the end of the day. “Give me winter and dogs – then you can keep the rest.” Knud Rasmussen in his diary from The Literary Expedition. Knud Rasmussen is one of Greenland's greatest polar heroes. He was born right here in Ilulissat to a Danish father and an…

2 May 2022 The Orange Connector: A Story of Progress

By: Erin Towns
Last night I dreamed I was trying to find a baler connector. A baler is a large data storage drive. It connects to the digital receiver via an orange cable, and the digital receiver translates data into files and also runs the entire array system. It needed to go into the MEVO box after…

PolarTREC Updates

Polar Education Conference: Improving JEDI for students interested in Polar STEM Careers

A group of students learning about the physics of glaciers while sitting on a bedrock outcrop on the edge of the Juneau Icefield. Summer 2021. Photo by Scott Braddock

Join faculty, researchers, and education professionals in a 3-day Polar STEM conference. The driving goal of this conference is to develop strategies that engage under-represented students in Polar STEM and provide them with a better understanding of the field and non-field career pathways in Polar STEM.

The University of Maine in partnership with the Juneau Icefield Research Program is hosting a conference in Juneau, Alaska for educators interested in participating with one or both organizations to learn from each other, develop long-term strategies to leverage resources from each organization, and design field and in-class Polar geoscience programming for under-represented students.

The conference will involve tours of Juneau’s natural beauty, plenary talks regarding polar research, and break-out discussions and think-tanks about polar education. Currently, we have a working group of early-career scientists and educators of under-represented student populations who hail from Maine, Alaska, Florida, and Washington State. The conference is open to STEM educators and scientists with an interest in developing and integrating Earth systems science, field education, and classroom curriculum.

Space via zoom or in-person will be limited. Additionally, a limited amount of funding is available for attendee travel support and lodging in Juneau. If you are interested in attending the conference virtually or in person, please check out the website and please register by June 19th, 2022.

For questions, please reach out to Scott Braddock (scott.braddock[at]maine.edu), Deb Shulman (deborah.shulman[at]maine.edu) or Seth Campbell (scampb64[at]maine.edu).

Let the summer begin!

Image of a CTD rosette with scientists Vasily Kuznetsov and Naoya Kanna prepare the rosette for a cast. Aboard the Akademik Tryoshnikov in the Laptev Sea. Photo by Jon Pazol (PolarTREC 2021), Courtesy of ARCUS

It is finally time for the summer Arctic research season to begin! And, with the researchers, ARCUS will be supporting a few teachers through PolarTREC.

Starting in July, teacher Eric Filardi heads out with a research team to the interior of Alaska. The team will be working out of the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed, working closely with NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network). They are looking to answer “What are the environmental and biological controls of photosynthetic phenology in permafrost-affected boreal forests?”. You can learn more through the expedition website.

In July, teacher Jennifer Johnson will be in Alaska and working with researchers out of Utqiaġvik, Alaska. The team plans to use observations, experiments, and models to understand how the fluctuations in the numbers of small mammal herbivores (lemmings) on the tundra. You can learn more about lemmings and this project and read about the experience through the website.

In August, teacher Rebecca Seigel will be traveling to the northern Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Rebecca will be joining several researchers on a ship-based expedition to look at harmful algal blooms.

All the teachers will be sharing their experiences through journals, videos and photos, and real-time events from the field. Feel free to subscribe to the journals or follow along on social media!

This PolarConnect event with teacher Erin Towns and researcher Dr. Sarah Das was broadcast live from Ilulissat, Greenland on 10 May 2022. The team was working on the Greenland Subglacial Tremor Project.

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Upcoming PolarConnect Event with Erin Towns

Team Sunshine House complete a successful day on the Western Greenland Ice Sheet.

Please join us for a PolarConnect event with teacher Erin Towns from Ilulissat, Greenland! This live event will happen on Tuesday, 10 May at 6 a.m. Alaska (7 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Mountain, 9 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. Eastern). Erin is working on the Greenland Subglacial Tremor Project. You can read more about her experiences here. The event will last for one hour with a Q&A session at the end. Tell your friends, colleagues and family. This event is free and easy to join!

Upcoming Arctic Research Seminar featuring Denver Holt

Photo of a snowy owl with a lemming in it's mouth.

ARCUS invites registration for the next Arctic Research Seminar featuring Denver Holt, founder, and president of the Owl Research Institute. Denver’s presentation, titled “30 Years of Snowy Owl and Lemming Research at Utqiagvik, Alaska” will be held via Zoom on Thursday, 14 April 2022 at 9:00 a.m. AKDT (1:00 p.m. EDT). Registration is required for this event.

Find people, expeditions, and resources

PolarTREC has hosted 193 expeditions and houses over 2,000 resources for educational use.

Locate Team Members

Check out our member directory to locate a team member from a current or previous PolarTREC expedition.

Follow Expeditions

All current and past expeditiions are listed in reverse chronological order for viewing.

Find Resources

Lesson plans, activities, articles, web links and more can be found in our resources section.